Friday 20 October 2017

ReaditDaddy's YA Graphic Novel of the Week - Week Ending 20th October 2017 - "Spinning" by Tillie Walden (First Second)

Our YA Graphic Novel of the Week is a stunning biography of one of the most incredible comic creating talents we've seen in a very long time...
We're slowly falling completely in love with Tillie Walden on the blog. After covering two of her fantastic graphic novels in our September YA Comic Round-Up we were lucky enough to get a look at a review copy of her latest masterpiece, the poignant and thought provoking "Spinning".

This powerful graphic memoir covers Tillie's childhood and teen years, and the harsh regime of becoming an award winning ice skater.

Far from the glamorous world most people imagine, the regime was extremely harsh. Early starts every morning, heading to the ice rink when the world was still waking up and often shrouded in darkness.

Every weekend, Tillie would attend competitions, clad in all the regalia you'd associate with figure skating. Tillie was amazingly talented, and won many prizes - but eventually came to hate the very thing she was exceptionally good at.

Tillie's life outside the rink is covered in fine detail, upheaval from moving to another state, making new friends at school and eventually meeting (and losing) the love of her life, the novel deals with Tillie coming out to her parents, a harrowing incident with a piece of human trash at school, and the balance between painful teen years and trying to appear 'normal' on the surface, whatever normal means. 
There are so many parts of the story where you're simultaneously cheering her on, and really feeling for her as she goes through the highs and lows of childhood and early teens. 

It's definitely in the YA bracket (which is an aching shame for us, as this is something I'd really love Charlotte to read - and will insist she reads one day - particularly as she's been keenly following the CBBC series 'Ice Stars'). Above all, Tillie imparts her story with sensitivity, focus and amazing clarity. Her work at times reminds me of the early Jaime Hernandez stuff around "Love and Rockets", her gorgeous line and tone work adds to her ability to impart compelling stories, even those derived directly from her own life experiences. 
An absolutely essential YA read. 
"Spinning" by Tillie Walden is out now, published by First Second (Kindly supplied for review)